tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN February 1, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST
fame. his mental acuity far surpassed my own. you hear the same, willie nelson, cheech and chong, snoop dogg. i think it is high time to shatter the glass ceiling and add a woman to the the group and who better than a tonight, super pacs unmasked. who donates and how much? and president obama unveiling a new housing plan. why the republicans blasted it and dozens killed in egypt over a soccer game, literally throwing rocks at each other. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. and "outfront" tonight, exposed super pacs drop the fig leaf. after months of being in the
dark about whose bankrolling the candidates, we have answers. now, you know that the super pacs are groups that can raise unlimited money and you know they're major players this election season. the federal election commission says this election might cost $11 billion. twice as much as 2008. and that jump thanks in no small part to super pacs. there are more than 300 of them already. so, today, we poored through hundreds of pages of super pac documents, really only for a few of the super pacs. the pro romney super pac called restore our future raised nearly $30 million last year. now, there were a group of donors that gave a million dollars each and one is julian robertson. he's been a mitt romney fan since the last election and told me that mitt is quote the smartest guy and extremely decent.
"outfront's" strike team member mark was on the list. the facebook board member told me quote, i think he gets it with respect to the economy in a way that the others don't. the super pac for newt gingrich raked in $2 million. now, because his single biggest donor, sheldon adelson and his wife, didn't give their $10 million until recently, that money didn't count. he didn't talk to me today, but i have talked to him about newt gingrich. in october, he told me that he liked all the republican candidates. and here's the scary thing. he may not have changed his mind. sheldon adelson is worth $21.5 billion. we did the math. $10 million to sheldon adelson is the same as $45 to the average american family. no joke. just a regular campaign contribution. president obama's super pac hasn't really started raising
money yet, but still brought in $4.4 million. and then there's the conservative american cross roads. it raised about 18 million last year, but it's non-profit owner, cross roads gps, raised a heck of a lot more. 33 million. and here's where a loophole comes in. in theory, cross roads gps could give 49% of its 33 million to its super pac boss, american cross roads. and then never disclose the donors. never. we've been talking about this inappropriately loophole available to any super pac for weeks. goes like this. a donor gives to the non-profit a.r.m. non-profit a.r.m. usually gives that to the super pac. now, president obama's super pac has a charitable a.r.m., too, and we're told romney's can set one up any time.
forcing donors to testify to close the loophole. all the way through and thanks so much to both of you for being with us. we found a lot out today about who likes who. what stood out to you? >> first of all, a campaign finance reform is supposed to limit the influence anyone can have on election. it is clearly failed. i think it's a very diverse group of people. very, very wealthy. most of these people are billionaires. they've been involved in politics, often republican politics, for years and years. >> you had some that had given to swift-boat. now to romney. >> harold simons, been giving to republican candidates for years and years and years.
and rick perry, he spored him initially. >> ken, what stood out to you in terms of people doubling down or new names you weren't expecting? >> one of the things that stood out most was the lack of a response on the democratic side to this type of fund raising we're hearing about on the republican side. democrats have been warning about this for months and saying that if they don't start raising the same amounts of money as the super pacs and non-profit groups supporting president obama and house and senate democrats, they're going to get crushed in 2012. while those messages didn't sink in with the big donors who have the ability to write the seven figure checks. we saw only $19 million come into the six super pacs to support democrats as kind of an unofficial network. that compares to the 51 billion they raised last year. that's a real disheartening statistic for democrats. they were hoping some of the big, big donors would come off the sidelines like george soros.
like you said with harold simons or sheldon adelson, that's like $40 to him. >> that was one of the most bizarre things, running those numbers on sheldon adelson. >> business people love romney. i have here an invitation to a fund-raiser mitt did on wall street about two weeks ago and you can see here, woody johnson from the jets, jimmy lee, from jpmorgan chase. steve schwartzman from black stone. some are switching over from obama to mitt romney. steven ross, who is the ceo of a related companies, big new york city real estate concern was characterized as independent. now, he's supporting mitt romney. he also owns the dolphins. so big money there as well.
>> that's interesting. ken, is that something that is concerning or should be the president? that a lot of the big money donors who gave to obama last time, they don't like to talk about it, but they do, they may not get them this time? >> it's really concerning to democrats who have for years tried to build a relationship with the business community. this is something bill clinton did well. they would go up, hear out the concerns of these folks. hell, bill clinton would invite some into the white house. that drew some criticism. a lot of the fund-raiser rs say obama has done more to burn the bridges clinton built than bill clinton did to build them. it's forcing them to rely more on hollywood money, which we see them courting in the form of steven spielberg and to a lesser extent, some of the new blood on wall street as well as some of the silicon valley money you see
democrats really relying on because a lot of these wall street types who had given to democrats in the past just around enamored with president obama and aren't responding to the pitches of these super packs. >> they see these wealthy democrats as being the business people. you're hearing this now. he has some supporters. democrats can go back to one of their favorite groups of people, trial lawyers. they remain resolutely democrat. >> no tort reform. what about this loophole though? is this going to be closed? because this is one of those things i could see could benefit both sides, but seems ridiculous. >> that's right. and for the first time, we saw the democrats who have complained most loudly about this, take advantage of that. they transferred $215,000 from priorities u.s.a., secret donor group backing president obama to priorities u.s.a. action, which is a super pac supporting
president obama. i talked to the folks there. they said this is just for administrative expenses. as to whether it's going to be shut down, i don't see any political will on capitol hill for any type of significant campaign finance reform. certainly none that would be in effect to influence the money flowinging into the 2012 election. >> thanks very much to both of you. bottom line is why americans are so frustrated with congress. it's just something that just makes no sense. and perhaps should change. next, what to make of reports that iran is planning an attack on american soil? peter king is chairman of the homeland security committee and he's "outfront," next. and who strangled the woman in michigan found dead in the back of her mercedes? her husband speaks for the first time tonight. and will congress get its act together, close a loophole and make a deal on the payroll tax?
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history. witnesses say protesters bashed each other to death with rocks and chairs. fire also broke out as authorities were responding to the violence. it's hard to imagine this. ben wedeman has been following the story. can you tell us exactly what happened and what caused this. these images are brutal. >> reporter: what we understand is when the game ended and the team was victorious over the cairo team, the port side fans poured into the field and started to attack the cairo players as well as the fans. and what we see from the video is that there was a very inadequate security presence at this game. normally, there are lots of riot police. lots of security at these games to prevent this exact kind of thing. what we're hearing from many of the cairo fans is that security
stood back, did little to prevent this violence. many of the cairo fans are members of what is known as the ultras, a group of hard core fans who follow the team around everywhere, but who traditionally have a very hostile relationship with the police. now these fans are saying that what happened was this was the revenge of the police. they just stood back and let the port side fans go after them with rocks, with sticks and stones. and in some cases, we're told there was also some firearms being used against these fans. which tells you that law and order situation in egypt is not very good at the moment and it's played out in the stadium in port side this evening. >> the images of rocks and what happens to a country with no government. horrible to imagine. thanks so much for covering that
story from cairo. the obama administration's top intelligence official has a warning for america. that senior iranian leaders are now more willing to carry out attacks on u.s. soil. the director of national intelligence says iranian officials are reacting to perceived american threats against their country. the comments come as tensions between the u.s. and iran are higher than it seems they've been in decades. joining me now, peter king. let me just ask you what you read into this. obviously, of course, this comes on the heels of the u.s. government saying last fall that certain people in the iranian government were trying to kill the ambassador of saudi arabia to the united states and american civilians in washington. >> general clapper is saying that the clap to kill the saudi
ambassador, to blow up the restaurant in washington, that signalled an intention by iran to cross what we call the red line and carry out attacks in the united states. since then, there's been other analysis by the cia and other intelligence agencies which caused general clapper to believe that the iranian consider attack in the united states is possible, plausible. in the past was something we believed they would not consider. now, they joined forces, they have forces around the world, hezbollah, cuds force. based on the observation, intelligence, that's being picked up, general clapper believes and i agree with him, that iran is now willing to consider launching an attack against the u.s. and would have the ccapability.
>> what kind of attack? terrorist attacks? bombing on a subway? blowing up airlines or a feeling of they might do something, but don't know what or when? >> my belief is that iran has made the decision it would consider making attacks in the united states. i'm not aware of any specific attacks, but i think we would have to work upon the the standard kind. attacking mass transit, commuter lines, shopping centers. icons. buildings that have symbolic value to the united states. so again, the fact they're willing to try to kill the saudi ambassador and blow up an american restaurant where you could have had hundreds of americans there, shows they are ll to cross that line. >> does it though? so much of these situations seem to be rhetoric and you can talk yourself into a frenzy and end up in a war. are you worried that's what's happening here? certainly iran would know if they did that. the rep --
>> they were willing to attempt it with the saudi ambassador and as far as it getting out of control, remember remember, this is the obama administration. i have no reason to be defending through perspective, but i believe that people such as general clapper, general petraeus, they would not be put in a frenzy. >> there's also a leaked nato report saying pakistan has been helping the the taliban kill american troops. obviously, this comes on the heels of the united states saying that there are members of the pakistani government who have been assisting the taliban for quite some time. but this is a very explicit thing. trying to kill american troops. should we end the relationship with pakistan? is it something the united states must stick with? >> i think the report is not a conclusion. it states what currently has
been learned from interviews and interrogations, so it may be accurate, it may not be. let's assume it is. i think there has been a really a market decline in the relationship with pakistan. especially the isi. >> their intelligence services. >> that was being cleaned out. he was attempting to root out islamists. instead, it seems it's filled with islamists, so we have to assume, not assume, we know that pakistan in a number of ways is working gens it. it's still to some extent, an important relationship. they are a nuclear power, but it's a very mixed blessing and in the past year or so, i would say it's 40 or 68 instances where we're going to have to deep putting pressure on pakistan and make the decision whether or not it's a relationship worth keeping. >> thank you for being with us. one thing that surprised me, young, ambitious men that they said it wasn't worth staying in
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facebook finally did it. they filed the paperwork to go public. what that means is that you can get your own share of the company. well, you might if you're lucky because you're going to have to compete with a lot of people who want it. the adopts gave the first look ever at facebook's numbers and there are a lot of them. 800 million people use facebook. zynga accounted for 12% of facebook's revenue. in 2013, mark zuckerberg's salary will be just one dollar, but a stake in facebook? worth more than $16 billion. now a lot of that money should probably go to pet products because last time i saw mark, his dog, beast, went number two all over his condo, so there's all -- spend money, clean up after beast. facebook hopes to raise $5 million to keep up. that is more than the 1.7 billion google raised in 2004.
that brings us to tonight's number. 380 million. that is the dollar amount that 16 google investors paid the state of colorado in taxes two years after google went public. that money paid for roads, classrooms and the salaries of more than 3,000 state workers, but before california's lawmakers get too excited, even after a company goes public, you don't sell the shares right away. so california, don't spend it yet. you might not see extra facebook tax money for years, but money, there will be from those investors. and can congress do a deal to extend the payroll tax cut? and a michigan mother found strangled in the back of her mercedes. now a man coming forward and saying he was involved in the crime. >> announcer: with nothing but his computer, an identity thief
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the stories we care about, first, super pac donors revealed. after months of being in the dark, we can see everything. we went through the hundreds of pages of documents and can tell you pro romney super pac, $130 million. there were several donations of a million dollars. three from hedge fund operators. some of those, a former obama donor rs. the pro obama super pac raised $4.4 million. one major donor there, steven
spielberg and today, senate democrats announced a plan to hold hearings on super pacs. two, a teenage girl injured in a crash that killed her family has a zero chance of being deported. that's what an immigration official told cnn. she is in the country illegally, according to her extended family. parents and sister died during this weekend's crash on i-75 in which 11 people died. her family also told us that florida's governor has offered to take care of her medical expenses. american airlines announcing layoffs and said it lost a billion dollars in december alone. that's more than it lost in the first nine month of last year and that's terrible because december is a huge travel month. american believes it will save
$2 million through layoffs, restructures and grounding planes. that's a bad economic headline. more mixed news on the u.s. economy. there is some good news. manufacturing and construction expanded, but the not so good was on hiring. only 170,000 jobs added in january and obviously, you're going to see things like american now hitting the numbers ahead of friday's monthly job report. economists say they're looking for the unemployment rate to inch up to 8.6%. it has been 180 days since america lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? some people believe you've got to spend to get the economy to grow. there's one thing that we're not doing a lot of and that is paying for things. there's a new word. it's called pay for. maybe they needed a new word because we don't usually pay for. it is all the rage. as the clock runs down on congress to extend the tax cut,
both parties agreed to extend the cuts. just like in december. but they can't agree on the pay-for. sound familiar? this is what we had in december and got that bizarre thing. the can was kicked down the road, but guess what? we're almost there again. we're going to be talking about this and figuring out if they can get it done. the average american can save between 700 to $2300 a year with the current tax cuts. that money will go back to the government if the deal isn't reached. it doesn't go to nothing. senator bob casey is "outfront" with us tonight. good to see you. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> let's start with the good news. you agree you want to extend this. right? >> yes, we do. and i think there's great consensus on that because i think people on both parties know what's at stake.
we've got to get it done. we're not there yet, but we're working hard to get this done. >> we try to be light hearted sometimes about things that depress us all like this new pay-for word. this was the problem in december. everybody agrees this is a good thing. there are few who will argue against the payroll tax cut extension, but you only get two months. is that going to change? >> sure, that was difficult. it will still be a difficult task to get a bipartisan agreement, but we've got to do it. this is one of the ways and there aren't many, as you know. this is one of the ways to jump-start the economy to keep the recovery moving so we're creating private sector jobs and giving people the opportunity to have a couple more bucks in their pocket. for the whole year, it's about a thousand bucks, but even for the next ten months, in a state like pennsylvania, it's hundreds of dollars. so we've got to work together to get an agreement.
zbr it costs $160 billion. do you believe it has to be paid for? >> that would be preferable because we know to pay for the rest of the ten months, it's about a 10 billion per month pay-for. about a hundred billion dollars we have to come up with. in december, i had two different versions of the payroll tax cut bill. both of them had a surcharge on incomes above a million. that would have paid for part of it. but the republicans rejected that. i think there are going to be a lot of options on the table. we've got to keep working together because one of the reasons we're at this point right now is because everyone believes and this is bipartisan, that this is a good way to keep the economy moving. >> what other pay-fors are there? i'm sorry, i keep laughing at the word. there's something a little ridiculous about it. the millionaire surtax.
it might be a great idea, but every time i hear it, everyone's using a millionaire's surtax to pay for something else. just getting at the point, is that just a political thing to say or is it realistic? and if not, what's another pay-for? >> here's why i think it's a reasonable way to pay for at least a portion of it. number one, it's very focused and specific. this isn't just getting revenue and putting it in some agency or some program. it's having a small number of americans by comparison pay for a tax cut r for 160 million americans. 6.5 million of those in pennsylvania. that's why i think it's reasonable. if they doesn't work, if we can't get an agreement, we have to figure out other ways to do this. but i think we can. >> would you cut spending? >> look, as part of this, we've got to also do, we've got to reach an agreement on unemployment insurance. on a fixed so-called doctor's
fix, so doctors don't have a huge increase in medicare rates. we've got three or four big assignments here and part of that's going to be making sure we're doing everything possible to stay focused on what's best for families. and i think that you know from covering the last year, we did a lot of cutting in 2011. we can cut some more. i'm not sure in this particular, on this particular agreement for these three items whether there will be cuts, but we should consider everything to reach a point where we can get a bipartisan agreement. >> cut a lot of defense, but there's a lot more we could do. appreciate you taking the time. pay-fors. suggest them. we want to hear some and not little piddlely ones. middle class americans are most affected by this. that's why economists think it
worked. that's why it could be a really great thing and there's pretty much no one who would say we shouldn't do it. middle class family has a median income of about $49,000. and the middle class makes up about 50% of the american population. but this is really amazing. 90% of americans identify themselves as middle class even though they don't fall into that income range. whether it's perception, a sense of middle class values that so defines this country, the middle class vote is the ones that all the candidates are courting. >> this is a make or break moment for the middle class. >> are the dealing being cut on behalf of huge institutions and very rich people at the expense of the american middle class? >> that's unfortunately a situation where we see the middle of america, middle income americans, that center of america is hallowing out. >> we have a government of special interests now. they run things. middle class is shrinking. >> my campaign is focused on
middle income americans. >> hey, guys, you're all over it. okay, let me start with you, john avlon on this issue though that inning actually is an amazing thing and perhaps a good thing. 90% of americans feel middle class, which i guess on some level hopefully speaks to the level of hard work and dedication and equal opportunity. >> i think that's right. it's about my l class values. about the sense that we're all in this together and there's a sort of modesty and mare tok rasy that mobilizes america. >> well said. >> elections are won in america by the candidate who connects with moderates and the middle class. what was fascinated about mitt romney today for all his stumbles, what he was really doing was unveiling the fact his strategy is about the middle class. just like barack obama. he has accepted barack obama's
terms of debate. >> what the president always says, i don't care about the middle class and those tries to get into the middle class. i think that's the part that americans who are compassionate people want to hear from their president. they think people who are being left behind ought to be given a ladder up. >> let's listen to what you're referring to, mitt romney with soledad o'brien here this morning. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. if it needs repair, i'll fix it. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they're just fine. i'm concerned about the heart of america, the 90, 95% of americans who are struggling and i'll continue to take that message across the nation. >> had he just not said the first part. i'm not worried about the rich, they're just fine. i care about the middle class. that would have been a home run. what mitt romney has to do, attack some business or
senseless. we care about wage growth and income growth for everyone in this country. and i have the strategy for how we achieve that again. that makes sense. something he could talk about in a compelling way. instead, he begun by -- i don't care -- i'll fix the safety net for them if i must because i'm a robot, but i do not care -- >> the romney robot has reappeared. it's a gaffe because it deepens established narratives. the fact he is mr. 1% or .1%. there's a credibility gap. middle class americans have been squeezed for decades. haven't been seeing real income growth. they feel like they're working harder for less and that's what president obama's trying to position himself as defender of the middle class. >> they can look and say under different parties, in a sense, they should be open to either side to win, right? >> middle class is totally open, but look at what happened in the 1990s.
we did see wage growth, employment growth. that was under a democratic president. the way the republicans mark the administration, they try to count from january 20th until today. but the reality is the first amount of his program didn't get implemented for about two or three months after he got into office. you can't start looking at who lost their job and the housing problems that occurred in the first three months because those are still part of the bush program. it's a tough argument to make politically, but it is right on a policy basis. >> depending on how you stand politically, one can talk about the numbers and start the dates and you have a fair point sh but i don't want to go there. i want to go there on the wage growth issue because that is something we haven't seen under
anybody. that is a real issue in this country that has a lot to do with the rise of china and not much to do with who's in the white house. >> the job growth we saw over the last decade was coming in the public sector, in jobs subsidized by taxpayers. that is a huge problem romney can speak to. >> that's an important element, but the real issue is this. this is why it feels like such a crisis for america because when the middle class is strong, our country's strong. when the middle class is weak, our country's weak. the big debate is whether government has a role in strengthening the middle class or whether or not that's about private sector growth. >> i want to play one more sound bite. hold on one second. i want to give you a chance to react to it. talking about winning over the middle class has a lot to do with housing. president has a new plan. rolled it out today. >> and government certainly can't fix the entire problem on its own. but it is wrong for anybody to
suggest that the only option for struggling reasonable homeowner ss to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. i refuse to accept that and so do the american people. >> romney has said he thinks the market needs to work his way through. ceo of lenar, are now starting to say the same thing. >> yeah, it's a question about whether it's good policy and politics. i think the president playing off on this gives people a sense of hope. bill clinton was al to lead america out of a recession by saying he was going to focus on american middle class. that's what president obama's tryinging to tap into. >> thanks to all three. now check in with anderson. what's coming up?
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will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. there are allegations of financial troubles, another woman and a hit man for hire. now surrounding the death of jenny bashara. she was found strangled to death on january 25th in detroit. investigators say she may have been killed by a paid accomplice.
so far, no charges have been filed. bob has been questioned and earlier today, he called his wife's death a tragedy and thanked his supporters. >> this horrific event ask for your continued prayers, your support and respect of our privacy. as we deal with this heartbreak. and try to cope. thank you very much. >> bob, what do you have to say about -- >> i have nothing to say. >> and that was literally all that he did say right there. paul cowen has defended numerous high pro file cases, joanna is a former attorney. welcome to the show. let's start with this accomplice.
the other day when we talked about this story, all we knew is that this woman was found dead and her husband claimed no involvement. now, all of a sudden, financial troubles, an affair. an accomplice walked in to police headquarters and said he was hired to kill his wife for $2,000. is he credible? >> there are allegations of financial troubles, another woman and hitman for hire now surrounding the death of a 56-year-old. he didn't do anything as far as, he left the car. he didn't steal from the home. you need evidence to show someone is an accomplice. we have evidence, which are phone calls to this gentleman. >> we have phone calls linking them.
>> we do. >> he's a drifter like character. what do you think? $2,000 to kill someone? >> hey, it's a lot of money. >> yeah. >> this case is as shaky as any case i have seen. >> the case against bob and the accomplice. >> totally shaky. the so-called hitman, his story is the murder takes place in the garage of their home. when he's trying to hire him as a hit man. >> i'm hiring the hit man and my wife shows up, so i guess i'll strangle her myself while the hitman watches. the hitman turns out to be homeless. he's squatting in an apartment someplace in michigan. the financial motive is there is foreclosure. the motive against bashar is he has financial troubles, they are in foreclosure. third largest foreclosure rate in america, michigan. 136,000 filings in michigan last year foreclosure.
>> so? >> i would say we have 136,000 suspects if that's the reason you kill your wife. >> maybe he has financial problems, has a girlfriend and says do we know about life insurance? if anyone has a motive, he does. he found someone who is an easy target to use. he used him. he has a connection to him because he was a prior tenant. $2,000, whether someone finds it subjective or not is a lot of money. if he had any other reason to do something, he would have taken it. >> this guy is the president of rotary -- >> oh, my gosh. we haven't had people -- >> he's active in charities, he's a professional guy. is he going to go out and hire a homeless hitman who -- and then murder his wife in the garage in front of the hitman? by the way, the so-called hitman shows up at the police department and they let him go. >> let me ask you about that, why would they let him go if he's credible? >> they don't have enough
evidence yet. they are building their evidence. they need more. they just got the car. they need to see why he did it. he didn't take the pill that is were found on the floor, didn't sell them. didn't take the mercedes, have it stripped and sold. they are going through dna looking for fingerprints. >> the hitman walks into the police station, confesses to the police and they let him go. very alleged. supposedly, from what i have read, they say his story is filled with he's got mental problems. maybe the husband is guilty, maybe he's innocent. right now, there's no case against him. it's a disgrace to accuse him of being guilty of this crime until
we see evidence. right now, there's no case here or there would be an arrest. >> a person of interest. >> person of interest. all right. that's another sour subject. >> i know it's a sour subject. we'll talk about suspect versus person of interest. thanks to both of you, appreciate it. >> thank you. it is wednesday. of course that means it's hump day for those in the middle of a five-day week. that can only mean one thing, right? can it? you know what report is up front, next. for financial advic. back then he had something more important to do. he wasn't focused on his future. but fortunately, somebody else was. at usaa we provide retirement planning for our military, veterans and their families. now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa.
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so would it be hump day without the camel report when we are allowed to do one sfwh i'm lucky to travel a lot with this job. almost everywhere i go, i run into a camel. is it divine or great luck. i have tried camel races and camel milk. i hung out with alexander and joshua at the bronx zoo. at the pyramids rose daisy, a lovely camel with an attitude. earlier this month in south carolina covering the gop primary, i didn't expect to run into a camel. on the shoot at firefly vodka, off in the distance, glistening in the sun, i saw this. yeah, that's a hump. where there's a hump, there's a camel, right? wrong. so what -- is this a cow, a camel, what is it? >> it's a miniature broma.
it's not a kau. she still has horns. she has a hump like a camel and she can store water and fat for extended periods of time. >> just like a camel? >> just like a camel. >> they have humps, too. it rocked my world. there's a breed of cattle with a hump. according to the american breeders association this is neat. they rank number one in vigor, efficiency and heat tolerance. it sure sounds like a camel to me. i have been curious about how many other animals have humps. right before the show, we went online and we googled animals and pumps. after wading through a ton of